If I might add, never ask the real estate agent if they know a lawyer.
Imagine if you're arrested for a serious crime and you ask the prosecuting lawyer if they know a good defense lawyer.
I'm not sure how you find a good property lawyer, but I'm finding my lawyer suggested by Harcourts is a little too cozy.
For anyone who cares, my advice is one of your first questions should be "Any relations, interests and dealings with my real estate company?"
I sold a house in Hamilton, and again made the same mistake of asking the realtor for a lawyer.
After I hired him, I found out 'my' lawyer was representing the real estate agent also, which he didn't disclose till I asked.
Back to this Johnsonville sale, here's an email from just my current lawyer.
Me: Should Harcourt's be pulling their commission before the sale has settled?
I thought the sale could still fall through, if the buyer is unable to settle (pay the remaining balance).
Just a lawyer: Yes, legally that is correct.
The sale is unconditional so the deposit is collected by them at that point and then their commission is deducted prior to vendor being paid the balance.
Technically, even though settlement hasn’t occurred, the property is ‘sold’.
If the purchaser failed to settle, the deposit is forfeited, so Harcourts get to keep their commission and you get to keep the balance.
Me: So if it falls through, they get a second commission on the second sale?
Just a lawyer:You need to calm down.
Harcourts have, as always behaved professionally and perfectly within the law.
They have not ‘attempted’ anything underhand at all.
All agents deduct their commission from the deposit I am not certain why you are so focussed on your sale not settling
I really don’t think I need to be having this conversation with you but if you are concerned about what might happen in the unlikely event of your purchaser failing to settle then my suggestion is that you contact the Manager at Harcourts Johnsonville.
You asked a ‘what if’ question and I answered it. I don’t think it serves any useful purpose to explore all possibilities unless strictly necessary i.e. your purchaser fails to settle.
Notice quotes around 'sold.' Call me crazy but I don't think there's a legal concept of 'sold' in quotes versus sold without quotes. I guess I can tell my creditors I'll pay my bills in 'money'.
Because why ask my property lawyer about the property law? I should always assume the best outcome, and not ask about the worst case.